Too Cold to Start...What's Up? (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 15, 2011
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75
I need some help tracing a apparent "dead battery" no start problem. On 1/6/21, I replaced a 4 year old, off brand, dead battery in my 2000 LX470. There was a Batteries Plus nearby and I purchased a X2 Power AGM "bad ass" battery. So stoked! 930 cold cranking amps!!! On 1/31/21 I left Sacramento and headed to to Tahoe for a ski day...sunny conditions, but very cold around 29 F when I arrived at the lodge around 9am. Up to this point, no issues with the new battery. End of the ski day and the LX won't start. Dash lights on, but just a click of the starter and nothing. I got a jump and we were off and running back to Sacramento. The LX sat for 2 days and then the same thing, dash board lights are good, headlights are shining bright inside the garage and "click" no start. I jumped it and drove 15 minutes to Batteries Plus. They ran a load test and a few others. With the engine running, had 14 volts at the terminal and no issues on any of the tests. When the weekend came, I cleaned the terminals and placed a small amount of dielectric grease. Not that it needed it, but I was at a loss of what to do. Sunday, 2/22/21 headed to Tahoe for another ski trip. Very cold again. At noon, I started the LX and moved it to a closer parking spot. No problems. But at 4:30 when we were ready to head home, "Click" no start. Needed to jump. Even though there had been no indication of problems since 1/31/21, I decided to bring the a spare battery and jumper cables. Same routine, drove home no issues. Stopped for 2 hours for dinner, no issues. Next day, "click" no start. Dashboard lights on. Grabbed my multi-meter and read 12.8 volts at the battery terminals. Jump started and read 14.2 volts. No problems the rest of the day and today. Tomorrow I have an appointment at Batteries Plus. They want to test the battery, alternator and another load test. I'm going to push for them to replace the battery, even if it checks out.

I'm looking for some direction on where to troubleshoot this issue if the battery checks out again. I'm thinking maybe the starter??? This is my 2nd LX470...and I just got her in July. I'm the second owner and she only had 123K miles when I purchased her. I still have my 1999 LX and she has over 265K miles. I remember her starter went out around 125K miles...but not like this...the starter would spin, but not engage.
 

TheForger

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Sounds to me like a grounding issue. I guess it could possibly be stuck contacts in the starter, but that seems unlikely. I don't see how a jump would make your starter engage when it wouldn't otherwise considering the great battery you now have.
 

AlpineAccess

Overlanding is an expensive word for car camping.
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Sounds like a battery issue. I know of several people with AGM batteries like optima who were less than impressed by poor performance and cold weather issues.
 
Joined
May 3, 2009
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Location
Sacramento, CA
Have you measured the voltage of the battery when it doesn't start? It most likely is too low to turn the car over. No need to go to batteries plus to figure this out ... drive the car and make sure the battery is charged (check it with a multimeter). Disconnect the battery overnight as the car sits. Reconnect in the morning and it'll probably start right up. New batteries are rarely faulty since they are tested when they ship from the manufacturer. You may want to replace this battery if you can however, since all these discharge cycles have probably reduced its lifespan somewhat (not something you'll notice until a few years later).

To me, it sounds like something is draining your battery when the car is sitting. Do you have any aftermarket devices installed that maybe are not shutting off with the ignition off? It could also be a faulty module or some other component that is a parasitic drain. Get a multimeter and google parasitic drain car and you should be able to find it by pulling certain fuses, relays, etc..

Not sure why it would be a ground issue if you jump the battery and it starts right up and runs fine until you let it sit for several hours. Unless i'm reading this post wrong.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
75
Have you measured the voltage of the battery when it doesn't start? It most likely is too low to turn the car over. No need to go to batteries plus to figure this out ... drive the car and make sure the battery is charged (check it with a multimeter). Disconnect the battery overnight as the car sits. Reconnect in the morning and it'll probably start right up. New batteries are rarely faulty since they are tested when they ship from the manufacturer. You may want to replace this battery if you can however, since all these discharge cycles have probably reduced its lifespan somewhat (not something you'll notice until a few years later).

To me, it sounds like something is draining your battery when the car is sitting. Do you have any aftermarket devices installed that maybe are not shutting off with the ignition off? It could also be a faulty module or some other component that is a parasitic drain. Get a multimeter and google parasitic drain car and you should be able to find it by pulling certain fuses, relays, etc..

Not sure why it would be a ground issue if you jump the battery and it starts right up and runs fine until you let it sit for several hours. Unless i'm reading this post wrong.
She’s bone stock. I’ve owned since July, but I’ve know the original owner since purchase and he had no problems.

I did not measure voltage when happen and second time it happened in the mountain cold. I did measure the morning after the second time, when it didn’t start 12.8 volts.

I agree that I should have a problem jump starting if it’s not a battery issue. I’m headed to Batteries Plus this morning. I’m hopeful they will replace it. Then I will need to take it skiing again and see if I get the same failure to start again. If so, then the odds are I have an intermittent connection issue...that is triggered by colder conditions.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
31
Location
San Antonio
I’m going to second the parasitic drain theory on this one. Starter, alternator, and battery all sound like they’re functioning as they should, assuming all else is well. Something is staying on after you turn your ignition is off. I’d use a multimeter and after the car has been off for maybe an hour, check how many amps is being drawn. Should be less than 100 milliamps, which is just enough to power your clock, memory, and security.

In my experience at least, bad ground(s) usually have several other tell tale signs while the vehicle is running, such as flickering lights and strange electrical behavior with accessories, and it doesn’t sound like you have any of those.

That being said, I’ve had dud batteries in the last too, hopefully that’s all it is!
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
75
Sounds like a battery issue. I know of several people with AGM batteries like optima who were less than impressed by poor performance and cold weather issues.
I had great experiences with my previous Optima batteries on several snow wheeling adventures. This is my first experience with X2 Power’s battery. I was under the impression that AGM batteries came out of the aviation industry. If so, reliability would be top priority.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
166
Location
Tennessee
Battery connection terminals corroded at all? Tight? Any time you have an electrical issue, it is good practice to begin with a known good battery. If you have another vehicle that has started reliably, even in colder weather, swap batteries and see if the condition still exists. I don't think it is a draw issue. I actually would lean more toward a starter than a parasitic draw. That is, once I knew that the battery was a good battery. But that's just me.
 

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